Seabury Hall’s girls soccer team welcomes a new year, new season, and new coach


Courtesy of David Mena

Coach David Mena is leading Seabury Hall’s girls soccer team this season. This is his first year as a coach at Seabury Hall.

Kalena Pfaeltzer

If you look down at the soccer field around 4:00 pm after school this winter, you might find a new face setting up cones or poles for the girls soccer team. David Mena, or more affectionately known as Coach Dave, has recently joined the Spartans family as the new head coach for the girls soccer team here at Seabury Hall.

Soccer has always been a part of Mena’s life. He started playing at the age of six in San Jose, California. “My father took me out of playing ice hockey when I was six years old, and he wanted to put me in a non-contact sport, and that became soccer,” said Mena.
Since then, he has gone on to play at higher levels and began coaching alongside playing. He played some soccer in junior college, but he also made it very far as an individual.

“In regards to playing professional, [I] never played professional, but I should have. The furthest I ever got was playing for the Junior World Cup Team in 1986 in Mexico. [I] did play at the Hawai’i Pacific University on accident. The coach saw me play and found out that I could get some eligibility when I was actually brought to HPU to be the assistant coach,” explained Mena.

In addition to coaching, Mena is also currently getting a teaching degree at the University of Hawai’i Maui College. “I found out that I have been teaching all my life in regards to coaching from the age of 18 till now, and I’m needing a degree. So instead of moving off of Maui, I will be able to do my online courses to get my teaching degree,” said Mena.

Since this is only his first year with the girls soccer team, Mena is still getting to know each girl as a player and as a person. When asked what his goal and plans are for the girls soccer team, Mena said, “To help the girls, individually, become better people. To be able to academically get to accomplish what they are here for and to help guide them in their daily life. Also, to become better soccer players.”

“I really enjoy his techniques on helping us achieve our goals, and helping us get through physicality, mentally, technically, and tactically,” said junior Alissa Walin, one of the captains of the girls soccer team. This is Walin’s third year of being on Seabury Hall’s girls soccer team, and she believes that this is her best year yet.

Mena has made an impact on the girls individually and as a team. Walin stated,
“Emotionally, he has brought us all together and made us stronger, and made us push ourselves to a different limit. Making us realize that if we want this than we have to work hard.”

“Coach Dave has made me a way better player, and he’s made me more appreciative of soccer and has given me a lot to think about with my own technique, and with the other girls on the team,” explained freshman Evan Elsasser, (Elsasser is also a writer for the “Seabury Tides”). Elsasser described Mena as a great coach. “You can really tell he cares about all of us and that he has a lot to say about what we do, but he also understands that we’re like young and still learning, even though he has been a high-level coach,” she said.

Soccer has taken Mena many places throughout his lifetime, whether in the country or outside of the country. Besides living and coaching on Maui, he has coached on Oahu, where he has some family, and on the Big Island.

On Oahu, Mena has coached for a well known club called the Honolulu Bulls. The Bulls are known for the way they play soccer, their achievements, and their sponsorship with Sun Noodle and Soccerloco. Mena has also coached under a program called the Olympic Development Program, or ODP for short. He was a coach for multiple of the Hawai’i girls state teams that traveled to the mainland to compete in a regional tournament against some of the best players on the Western side of the United States.

Besides coaching and schooling, Mena enjoys relaxing in Hana in his free time. He currently lives out in Hana but is able to stay in the dorms here at Seabury Hall three times a week. Since living in Hana for nearly three years, and taking on a job that has his drive almost two hours, Mena does plan to eventually move to this side of the island for the convenience of coaching here.

From coaching to schooling to jammed-packed schedules, Coach Dave has given his time and made a commitment to the girls soccer team and to the Seabury Hall community. So if you are ever wandering near the gym, or running down by the field, and see a man with glasses and a bag of soccer balls, then you have found Coach Dave.